The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.
When I tackled my preschooler’s closet makeover, I did so with great research on the matter. My main goals were to help her develop independent skills in dressing, encourage clothing stewardship, and continue to cultivate general organizing concepts. To me, it’s important to facilitate a child-friendly arrangement and then step back and let her accomplish the daily tasks as intended.
Here are 10 favorite tips helpful in organizing a child’s closet.
List the problem areas and then make a plan of attack. Not only did I list my daughter’s trouble spots, I also created a drawing, with measurements, of how a new closet arrangement would best meet her needs.
It may seem detailed, but when I write out a plan, then I process problems better and find solutions. For the most part, I stuck to my original drawing, with just a few adjustments.
I love the thin velvet closet hangers Laura highlighted (HERE) and they are sold in a smaller size for children’s clothing. However, velvet hangers may not be the best investment for a young child. First, the cost investment is higher than plastic hangers, yet they will only fit a child’s clothing for a few short years before you need to re-invest in larger hangers. Second, they can be a little difficult for a child to manage. Learning to hang (and remove) clothing from hangers may initially be frustrating for little kids. Plastic hangers make the job a little easier for beginners by allowing items to slide on and off easily.
Another easy clip idea is the rail system I showed last time for hanging skirts, shorts, etc. (seen HERE).
These Olka clips from the Container Store are excellent for little hands and (as one reader reminded me) they’re great tools for enhancing hand-eye coordination too!
It’s a common sense point, but I’ve noticed countless children’s closets with clothes hanging up high at adult height. Organizing clothes at eye level and below for a child will encourage independent use.
As an adult, I find it easier to maintain organization if items are contained in visible fashion. Children are no different and may, in fact, require better visibility when it comes to clothing.
Above you’ll see 8 clothing ‘zones’ to help keep all things accessible.
I really wanted to use see-through drawers to make items like undies, pajamas, and leggings easily visible. However, the price was a bit more than we budgeted for, so I used an alternative method, open baskets (similar to what I used in the garage). They’re from the Container Store. You could also use cardboard boxes covered in self adhesive shelf liner (like I did HERE).
I’m not trying to create a perfect looking closet, I’m trying to teach my daughter about folding and caring for clothes. So, while a disheveled closet is a possibility, it also offers potential teaching opportunities. I view messy drawers & bins similar to allowing a child to dress herself… there’s a learning curve involved and many days of mismatched outfits that take place during these early years. :)
I placed a hook front and center in my preschooler’s closet for preparing the day’s clothes the night before.
I don’t mind the crazy clothing combinations she chooses as an independent dresser. I DO mind the unnecessary hubbub that happens as we’re walking out the door for school. In effort to calm the morning rush, I have her pick out the next day’s outfit in advance. It makes our mornings much smoother!
Yes, my favorite method of kiddie organization – making a picture label. I’ve done this for small toys, outdoor toys, books, and more. Picture labels in a closet are an easy method to teach small children organizing concepts.
We all know the importance of designating a home for everything. I’m not delving into the top half of her closet right now, but that space is well utilized so that whatever clothing doesn’t store on the lower level still has a home. If you’re wondering where shoes and socks live, we keep them in a backpack station by the back door (HERE).
While we’re on the topic of designated spaces, dirty laundry needs a home too. I don’t claim that dirty clothes always make it in her hamper, but we’re working on it. ;)
Children don’t stay small for long. They are in constant change, as are their clothing sizes. In creating a kiddie closet, I knew the overall concept must be adjustable to grow and change along with my daughter.
This may be another obvious, but use the door space for hanging items too. Hooks, over the door pocket organizers, and specially designed door organizers offer countless possibilities for organizing a child’s closet.
Let me clarify that point… no donation station in the line of visibility for a child. I’ve learned that consigning or donating children’s clothing can be confusing for little one’s who don’t understand the concept of out-growing a favorite shirt/dress/pair of pants. Eventually that well loved, well worn item must move on to a new home – whether donated, consigned, or passed down to another sibling. Keeping outgrown clothes out of sight makes a smoother transition during the parting process. :)
Those are my top 10, anyone else have a favorite tip to share?
In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at UsefulBeautifulHome.com.
All of the posts in this 31 day to organized closets series can be found by clicking on the graphic below.
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